Dawn's Reviews > Men in the Off Hours

Men in the Off Hours by Anne Carson
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it was amazing

“The mad state is, as he emphasizes over and over again, empty. Teeming with emptiness. Knotted with emptiness. Immodest in its emptiness. You can pull emptiness out of it by the handful. “I am not here. I am not here and never will be.” You can pull it out endlessly. ”

Hello Anne. I read your book in the guesthouse. I got everything together to take over the world. I took over the world while reading. I slept it off and the world slept so very near me.

Flatman (1st draft)

I was born in the circus. I play the flat man.
My voice is flat, my walk is flat, my ironies
move flatly out to sock you in the eye.

Hands, feet, vowels, hair, shadow, feelings of community,
strings (you do see) all flat.
The epic model I guess I’ll

pass over, Homer likening stalemate in war to a carpenter’s
chalkline. My flat world cost only $2 to view
at first, later this price like others went up.

Brute natures and angels in transparent draperies all alike
enjoyed the show. Flowers fell
transparently off them as they entered my tent

where air was of course planar. In some other world they
could have stayed organized but something about me
cast their placards down (flat, yes):

Brechtian. See a flat rat escape that one-dimensional skull.
And then, and then, what whispers there.
Your agony, mine, in the fully consensual design

of this play of light—you crowd of missing ones,
return the ball to me! whispers, whispers and her voice
(she never arrives) froze on the knock.

Flat thunder, all my heart, you might use Brahms behind it.
Dull, whitish, deadly as a carpenter’s chalkline.
Not Beethoven—Beethoven I cannot flatten.

Flatman (2nd draft)

If you see this card half out of my pocket you know
I am in on the bidding.
Don’t wait to feel it
on the pulse: I was

evacuated May Day from an explosive island
where I had made my home.
Sulfur dioxide thick in the air,
microgravity readings worrisome,

twilight hard to distinguish from other times of day—
I had got blasé about the ash cloud when
fiery hail began hitting the pool.
Suddenly it was night in the kitchen.

As I am now at hand with my card in my pocket
you know I did not put God in my debt that day.
Here is the thing though:
I do not organize well anymore.

“ My little Force…” as Emily said.
Barest panoramics imply internal difference
Where the Mountains Are.
Or were.

be assured my shamefastness,
though pungent, is complete.
And I can pay.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 1, 2004 – Finished Reading
February 20, 2008 – Shelved

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